Today, the Brewers Association (BA) released its Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies and Top 50 Overall U.S. Brewing Companies lists. These two annual lists comprise the top 50 producing craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume from data given to the BA. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were small and independent craft brewing companies.1
When comparing the two Top 50 lists, there are a handful of Pacific Northwest breweries that are in the Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies. These breweries include Deschutes Brewery (#10), Alaskan Brewing (#19), Ninkasi Brewing (#35), Rogue Ales (#36), Georgetown Brewing (#41), and Full Sail Brewing (#44). Also part of this list is Gambrinus, the owners of Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas and Trumer Brewery in Berkeley, California.
When looking at the Top 50 Overall U.S. Brewing Companies, there are a few Pacific Northwest Breweries that fall into this category that includes the big players in beer. Craft Brew Alliance (#12), Deschutes Brewery (#19), Alaskan Brewing (#29), Ninkasi Brewing (#45), and Rogue Ales (#46).
“Although the market has grown more competitive, particularly for regional craft breweries with the widest distribution, these 50 small and independent brewing companies continue to lead the craft brewing market in sales through strong brands, quality, and innovation,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association in a statement.
Granted these two Top 50 lists released by the BA today do not state actual sales volumes from each brewery. A more comprehensive State of the Industry report will be delivered during the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference, held from April 8-11 in Denver, Colorado. The association’s full 2018 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available in May 2019.
1 Figure based on companies that met the craft brewer definition for all or part of 2018. An American craft brewer is a small and independent brewer. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Brewer: Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.